The Scarlet Ribbon ~ Excerpt and Review #Fiction #UrbanFantasy

what do you think of the new cover?

Book Description

When a dirty blue car mows Maggie down outside her local supermarket, she becomes trapped in the nightmare world of a coma patient. She manages to rescue an abused and neglected child in this very different world.

But when it looks like she will finally wake up, she cannot bear the thought of leaving the child behind.

But is this other world real, or was she just dreaming? And if it is real, can she help this child?

“Maggie is a likeable character who is easy to engage with, and I found myself willing her to find the courage to embrace happiness. If you like a story that is more than just your average romance then I thoroughly recommend this one…” Amazon Reviewer

“Excellent reading, excellent writing with several unexpected twists that lead to…well, that is for others to find out too. A heart-wrenching and gripping story. Well done, Anita Dawes!” Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt from The Scarlet Ribbon

I felt the sheets being straightened, and deft fingers checked my tubes and wiring. I still seemed connected to the real world, but for how long? How long would I be allowed for goodbyes, even though I couldn’t say them?

It was childish, but if I couldn’t say goodbye, maybe it couldn’t make me go. I held on to that thought, hoping it would somehow make it true.

I heard the sound of rubber soles crossing the floor, then the metallic click of the door latch. I hoped Doctor Marsden hadn’t left the hospital. I would be very interested in his explanation.

Jack smoothed the hair from my face, and his lips touched my cheek. He whispered in my ear, ‘Where are you, Maggie? If you can hear me, please come back. I love you so much. Whatever it is, Maggie, fight it. Don’t let go. I’m not leaving this hospital without you.’

As I listened to him, wondering if he meant it, I drifted away again.

I had no idea how long I’d been lying beside Annie. Days and nights here seemed normal, but back in my world, I knew time seemed to be faster. I was so confused. I didn’t understand why I was incapable of touching Annie, yet the arm I wrapped around her hadn’t fallen through the mattress the way it did everything else. I couldn’t catch the belt, yet it had marked my skin. Why didn’t any of it make any sense?

All I could think of was that some inanimate objects were different.

Annie’s arms and legs looked sore, but the skin wasn’t broken. Her mother hadn’t even come to see if she was all right. God knows how long she would be left on her own. I could hear muffled voices from below, another fight brewing. Why on earth did some people have kids? If they were so capable of hurting them, they must have known beforehand, had some little clue that they didn’t really want them.

Annie had relaxed a little. Her breathing was easier, hardly punctuated by the remnants of the sobbing, although a shudder would disturb her every now and then. One small, grubby hand lay open while the other was closed in a tight fist. I could see a piece of red ribbon sticking out between her first finger and thumb. I reached for it but couldn’t move it. The determined way she held on to it even in her sleep, I knew it meant something special. I wondered if somebody had given it to her. I doubted if those things downstairs masquerading as parents had anything to do with it. It had to be someone nice by the way she clung to it.

I wondered if she had built up some false hope that the giver might come back and save her from the misery she lived in. I knew it was possible. It was also possible that the accident had damaged my mind, that this was all a dream. Whatever the truth was, I had no choice but to go with what I was being shown…

Latest Review

D.L. Finn

4.0 out of 5 stars Seeking answers on the other side

Reviewed in the United States on 17 May 2022

“Scarlet Ribbon” is a story that made me wonder about the afterlife and what is in between. Maggie was out with her husband when she was run down by a car. She ended up in a coma for two long years, but her time became relative as she found herself in a strange place. Her body was in the hospital, but her mind or soul was experiencing a different reality.

While she was under, she could see what her husband was doing and was taken to other worlds and the past. She wanted to help, especially a young girl. There was cruelty and a blissful existence that coincided in the different places. As she seeks answers to her dilemma, she finds out more than she wanted to about how sheltered a life she had and people’s true side.

I have always wondered what goes on when people are in a coma, and this was a fascinating idea of what could happen. There never seems to be one simple answer or outcome to Maggie’s desires. I love her determination to do what is right, but within her new world, I felt her confusion as she bounced from one situation to another. I was rooting for the person she connected with on the other side.

The story picked up the pace when she emerged from the coma, and work began for her to heal and try to remember. The ending was a surprise but didn’t feel done just yet. I hope there are more versions of her life to come and I will be reading them.


Many thanks to Denise for her wonderful review!

My absolute favourite story of Anita’s, The Scarlet Ribbon is 2.99 for the next two weeks, and can be found HERE

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie #Wordle 281

A dose of fetish. Good friends. An incomparable muse.

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay ~ Poem by A Dawes
Her winter green smile 
disturbed the words in my head
I remember the pledge we made
To stay longer, greedily
Enjoying each other, the forest
Hid all trace of us
High on love, hidden by mother nature
The stone in my shoe reminding me
She isn’t real…

©AnitaDawes2022

Falling… #Poetry

Image by Simon from Pixabay ~ Poem by A Dawes

Falling out of love I find
Opportunities I thought lost
Understanding what to do, however
Nothing I could think of helps
Drowning is how I felt
Always the same feelings repeated
Too late, you lost me
In moonlight I sleep
On wings of white I fly late at night
Nearer to you, before we fall out of love…

©AnitaDawes2022

Another wonderfully sad, heartbreaking poem from Anita!

She Sings… #Poetry

Under purple skies, she sits, she sings
Low winds carry her voice, her echo
Tomorrow tells yesterday’s old stories
Impossible dreams crushed like broken glass
Memories claw like branches
      on the bedroom window pane
Alerting the sleeping mind to horrors outside
Tomorrows nightmares arrive early
Entering the subconscious, they grow,
      Slowly waiting for the day they bloom…

©AnitaDawes2022

Are we Free? #Poetry

Shadows stretch across the floor
           Disappearing into darker corners
Hidden in mind’s eye, they linger, 
        like lost souls, looking for home
Any thoughts I had, were mixed, scrambled, questioning
Kites when they break free, that’s what shadows remind me of
               When they hide in a darker space, are they free?
Evening shadows, are they the same ones, out of hiding?
Silly thoughts that take hold of the mind
Peppering the space inside my head, 
        with strange things to ponder on
Evening starlight, are there shadows up there?
Away from our gaze, I wonder
Running after my own shadow for too long
Ending where I began…

©AnitaDawes2022

Lost in Time ~ The Sunday Whirl ~ Wordle 561 ~ #Poetry

Lost in time
The bones of our ancestors
Covered in myths
That run on willowy legs
Old spirits growl, I hear them not
I hear birds singing, the hum of summer
Empty footsteps tracking my progress
I pray they never catch up to me
I say the prayer three times
The third is the charm
To keep away the blood, 
trickling down the walls
The glum faces of my neighbours 
that haunt my dreams
I run after the old, the magic of myth
The stories that keep my blood pumping…

©AnitaDawes2022


The Sunday Whirl ~ Wordle 560 ~ #Poetry

Image by Dagmar Räder from Pixabay
I heard the sound of magic on a sigh
The library lights began flickering
I could see him stalk the shadows
His disguise flimsy
Impulse told me to run from the cruel crackle
That came from his movements
With every thud of his footsteps
I could hear the years drag behind him
My hunch, he was looking for a place to hide
To unload a monsoon of lifetimes
Each book he passed
Would contain new lines
When put together would make
The power too hot to handle
The truth would be trying to 
 remembering each book he touched
Then figuring out which would be a new line
It would take a lifetime
I knew I would have to try…

©AnitaDawes2020

Anita blew me away with this poem… I think it’s the beginning of what could be a fantastic book!

Awake… #Poetry

Wake up, you’re not dead
You’re dreaming
The ghosts you see had their time
My bones ache from walking
I see new faces through the fog
They smile, then vanish
It’s as if I’m walking from room to room
Families seated at their dinner tables
Then the screaming starts
Drumming against my ear
Then I could see the bodies, heaped in a pile
The screaming came from the women
Their mouths a giant O
Their eyes blank white orbs
I wake to my own screaming
So glad I was only dreaming…

©AnitaDawes2022